When you find out you are expecting, there are many things that run through your head – from pure joy to straight fear. This is normal even for those that have tried for years without success. Then, you start to read up on it and worry. There are a lot of risks and things that could go wrong during your first trimester, and without an ultrasound you do not really know much about your growing baby. Ectopic pregnancies are one of the few things that happen when something goes awry in your pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy, or tubal pregnancy, is a pregnancy where the fertilized egg never leaves your fallopian tube. This happens to 1 in every 50 pregnant women. In other cases the fertilized egg might attach to an ovary or other reproductive organ, and more serious complications can occur. However, instead of being excited about your pregnancy, you might find you are devastated and your life could be in danger.
Ectopic pregnancies require immediate attention when they are discovered. More often than not, though, the pregnancy will not be able to be continued. It can be an extremely sad time, losing a life that once was, but for many people you will probably be able to have a healthy pregnancy at a later time. There are a few reasons why ectopic pregnancies happen, and while you may never know the actual reason that it happened, there are a few things that make you at higher risk to having an ectopic pregnancy. Using an intrauterine device as a form of birth control, history of pelvic surgery and pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually transmitted diseases including chlamydia and gonorrhea, history of ectopic pregnancies, and use of fertility drugs are just a few things among the list of things that could make you more prone to having an ectopic pregnancy.
Once you experience some of the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, such as light bleeding, sharp abdominal cramps, vomiting with pain, or dizziness or weakness, you will need to schedule an appointment to visit with your doctor. They can diagnose a tubal or ectopic pregnancy by the use of ultrasound equipment, pregnancy test, and a pelvic exam. They will then decide the best way to treat the pregnancy determined on your unique condition. In extreme cases, surgery may need to be performed. This surgery might even be to remove the damaged tube if it has ruptured.
Luckily, the chances of you getting pregnant again after an ectopic pregnancy are still pretty good. The pregnancy is likely to be normal and you are likely to have a normal birth, too. Even if you had to have a fallopian tube removed, having one working fallopian tube still makes it possible to have a successful pregnancy. If your ectopic pregnancy was caused by a sickness or disease such as a sexually transmitted disease, getting treatment for that disease can help you have a successful pregnancy. However, the infection is not what made your first pregnancy ectopic. It was the scarring that occurred due to your infection, and unfortunately the damage of the infection once done cannot be undone.
Keep in mind that the chances of having an ectopic pregnancy again are still pretty high after you have had your first tubal pregnancy. There are other ways to get pregnant if you are having a hard time, though. Fertility doctors can help you determine either why you are having a hard time getting pregnant, and let you know your options for becoming pregnant which might require infertility treatments such as medicine or implantation. Many people have successful pregnancies after these treatments, too.
Going through an ectopic or tubal pregnancy can be difficult. Most doctors recommend that you do not try to get pregnant again until about three to six months after the successful removal of the tubal pregnancy that occurred. Just remember, do not blame yourself for this happening. Should you feel an overwhelming amount of grief, however, you should reach out to your family, friends, support groups or maybe even visit a counselor who can help you work through these feelings.
Blogger: Samantha Andrus